‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’

An interview is the opportunity for an employer to have a face-to-face conversation with you following a written application. It presents the chance to ask a range of questions regarding skills, experiences and future ambition and is a fundamental element of securing your dream job. This is a two-way process and it also provides an applicant the chance to find out more about the job.

Video Interviews

This will be very similar to a face-to-face interview and will follow the same format. Even though this may be a call, your interviewer can still see you – so dress appropriately and find a quiet place to conduct the call. The interviewer will again be looking for calmness and clarity in your responses so they can decide whether you are a good fit for their organisation.

Online Test

Certain online tests may be timed and are designed to assess your suitability for the position. The interviewer will be looking at how well you communicate effectively and solve problems. You may be able to prepare for online tests if an employer provides you with an indication of what the test entails.

Face to Face Interview

This is may be with the person who will manage you in the role, another member of the department you will join, or someone from the Human Resources (HR) team which oversees all employees. The interviewer will expect that you have thoroughly researched the role. You must be prepared to provide examples to demonstrate your ability in key areas that relate to your role.

Phone Interviews

These are often the first step in the interview process. They give the employer the chance to ask questions over the phone which then sometimes leads to a face-to-face interview. Calm and clearly communicated answers to questions are what an interviewer will be listening for. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have.

Panel Interviews

This interview will be conducted by several people. It is common for each panel member to ask several questions each. One person on the panel will usually be the ‘chair’ or lead ensuring that questions are asked by all. Panel members will sometimes take notes to make sure they remember the responses that you give. Ensure that you engage with everyone on the panel to build rapport with them.

Group Interviews

This will take place with a group of people being interviewed. This will usually be an assessment centre interview which enables an employer to run a series of tasks and exercises. You may be assessed on general skills such as communication, teamwork, timekeeping and problem-solving.

Common Skills to Demonstrate

There are common skills that are applicable to all types of interview format. However, some elements of the interview may require you to consider how to adapt your style to meet the demands of that particular environment.

Top Interview Tips

Questions to Ask in Interview


is Key.

You need to be prepared for your interview in order to perform at your best. You will need to clearly ask and answer questions that present you in the best possible light. It is vital that you know your CV, your self and the company you are applying for.

Do Your Research


Research is key, it will arm you with the information you need to prepare yourself for the interview. Company information should be readily available on their website and typing the company into a search engine may uncover related news articles and industry awards that can help you get a wider picture of the business.

  • Look For:
  • What They Do
  • Their Mission & Values
  • Their Competitors
  • Size of The Team
  • Departments
  • Latest News or Social Media

Person Specification

The person specification is a great resource for finding out exactly what the employer is looking for. Read through it carefully and try to think of examples where you have proved you have the skills, qualities and experience they are looking for.

Practice Makes Perfect

Following your research draft some questions about the organisation you want to join which are likely to be part of the interview. You may have declared your passion for a certain subject or industry, so be prepared to demonstrate it. Have a good think about your own skills and experience, and how you will relate them to the job itself. Practise these questions with your family, friends, even in front of a mirror.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? how would your friends or colleagues describe you? why do you want to work here? what can you bring to the organisation?

Preparing questions to ask – cover the basics e.g. working hours, next steps, start date, benefits and think of questions that will help you stand out e.g. key objectives of the role, organisational structure, opportunities for self-development and progression

Answering Questions

t’s important to communicate clearly during an interview. We all have different mannerisms when we speak – different speeds, intonations or overuse of certain words.

When preparing for your interview, practise using the STAR model for answering questions. This model will help you to answer your questions comprehensively and allows you to focus your responses.

STAR Technique

STAR – this is an acronym for 4 critical stages that need to be followed in an interview. STAR questions are to be considered especially in behaviour-based or competency-based interviews, as an interviewer always looks forward to understanding the candidate’s previous experiences, obstacles handled, leadership skills, performance under pressure and other such factors.

STAR questions are extremely structured behavioural interview questions where answers are provided by explaining the Situation, Task, Action, and Result of a particular topic are provided to the interviewer.

Situation: The candidate is supposed to share a very detailed description of a challenging situation where he/she overcame a lot of difficulties to achieve a specific goal. A candidate is expected to provide as much detail as he/she can for the interviewer to analyze their hurdle handling capabilities. It doesn’t have to be restricted to a job from the past and can be spread across all experiences such as volunteering or any other such encounters.

Task: What was the goal that the interviewee was trying to achieve? An interviewer seeks to understand the targets achieved by the candidate in the past to decide whether or not he/she will be able to manage in the organization’s culture and achieve their goals.

Action: A candidate is expected to share an aggregate of actions taken to complete a particular task. Steps taken to solve problems while trying to achieve a goal, contribution as a team member to finish an assigned task within the expected time frame and details such as these will make the interviewer believe in what the candidate has to bring to the table.

Result: Irrespective of how big or small a candidate’s contribution was, he/she must explain the outcome of the activities done to achieve the goal. Whether the goal was overachieved or underachieved and how well did the candidate perform in that situation. This is a factor where none of the interviewees must shy away from boasting about the work done to achieve a certain goal.

The most important aspect to consider in STAR questions is to be specific and detailed in every step of the interview and making sure that the specificity does not convert into verbosity. It will be better if the negatives of the previous job are kept at bay and the positives are highlighted in the best possible manner.